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了解“地球日”

2006-06-03 11:50

  What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.

  地球日的目的是什么?它是怎么诞生的?这些是我最常被问到的问题。

  Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political “limelight”(引人注目的中心) once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General(司法部长) Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda(议程)。However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.

  事实上,从1962年开始酝酿地球日的想法已有7年之久。这几年以来,让我感到困惑的是我们的环境状况根本不能成为我们国家的政治生活中的一个问题而存在。最后,在1962年的11月,我有了一个想法,那就是把环境问题和政治焦点一劳永逸的并有效的捆绑在一起。这个想法就是通过劝服肯尼迪总统进行一个全国性的环境保护巡游来认识这个问题。我飞到华盛顿和司法部长罗伯特。肯尼迪讨论这个建议,后者也欣赏这个想法。总统也表示赞同。于是在1963年的9月,总统开始了他历时5天途经11个州的环境保护之旅。出于很多原因这次旅行没有成功的把环境保护问题提到国家的政治议事日程上来,但正是这个想法的种子最后让地球日开花结果。

  I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation(退化) was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.

  我在大约25个州对不同的听众谈论起环境问题。在整个国家,环境恶化的例子到处都是,每个人都意识到这一点,除了政治机关之外。环境问题根本没能提到国家的议事日程上去。人们很关注这个问题,但政治家们却不以为然。

  After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called “teach-ins(研讨会),” had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots(草根阶层,平民) protest over what was happening to our environment?

  肯尼迪总统的巡游结束后,我仍抱着一些想法希望环境问题能够挤入政治主流。1969年的夏天,在我在西部进行环保演说之旅时产生了地球日的想法前6年也许过去了。那时一种叫做“研讨会”的反越战的集会已经在全国的大学校园中传播开来了。忽然间,我产生了一个念头——为什么不组织广大的普通大众去抗议那些发生在我们环境上的事呢?

  I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble(赌博), but worth a try.

  我很满意如果我们能够使得环境问题引起公众的关注,并把学生反战的能量注入环保事业,我们将能产生一个运动使得这个问题上升到政治议事日程。这是个很大的赌博,但值得一试。

  At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services(通讯社) carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters(侦破团伙者)。 Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum(论坛)to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance(活跃的)。 For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.

  于是1969年9月在西雅图的一个讨论会上,我宣布,在1970年的春天将为保护我们的环境而举行一个全国性的大众集会活动,并邀请每个人都来参加。通讯社把这个消息传遍了全国各地。提议的反响是激动人心的,就象扫荡黑帮的警探一样大受欢迎。电报,信件和电话咨询从全国各地涌来。美国人民终于有了一个论坛来表达自己对发生在陆地,河流和空气变化的关注了——他们的表现是如此的壮观,如此的兴高采烈。接下来的4个月,琳达。贝尔林和约翰。哈里提居,我参议员团队的两名成员,离开我的参议员办公室去筹划地球日的事宜。

  Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation(增殖) of environmental events:

  1969年的11月30日,在离地球日还有5个月的一个星期天,《纽约时报》登载了格拉迪温。希尔的一篇长文,文章报道了令人震惊的环境问题的增长:

  “Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing(月蚀,使黯然失色) student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned…。”

  “对环境危机的密切关注不断上升,并席卷了全国的大学校园,相比学生对越战的不满,将使后者黯然失色…一个观察环境问题的国家性地球日…将在明年春天举行…届时将有全国性的环境问题研讨会…参议员盖洛。尼尔生办公室正计划协调中…”

  It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned(气球般膨胀) beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.

  很明显我们渴望在地球日上获得巨大的成功。同样明显的是平民活动家的壮大也超越了我参议员办公室成员处理电话,文字工作,咨询等其他活动的能力。在一月中旬,离地球日还有三个月时,共同事业的创立人,约翰。加德纳先生,提供了在华盛顿特区的一个临时场所作为地球日的指挥部。我领导了一个由大学生组成的办公室并挑选了丹尼斯。海斯作为活动的协调人。

  Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous(自发的) response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.

  地球日之所以发挥作用是因为来自普通大众阶层的自发反应。我们既没有时间也没有资源去组织有2千万之多的活动参与者和数以千计的参加活动的学校和地方社区。地球日本身就是了不起的事。它组织了它自己。

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